Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for us to start our holiday planning in earnest. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Festivus, or a little bit of everything,, it is the busiest time of year for most of us. This year, we don’t have the added scheduling of holiday concerts and the rehearsals that go along with them, which is a mixed blessing, especially for those of us who earn a large chunk of our performing income at this time of the year.
On the one hand, we can relax a little bit and focus on preparing for the holidays without the excuse of “I can’t, I have a gig.”
On the other hand, we can’t get out of preparing for the holidays with the excuse of “I can’t, I have a gig.” (Plus that part about the “large chunk of our performing income at this time of year.”)
I recently completed Seth Godin’s The Creative’s Workshop, which was a dynamic experience involving 100 days of working toward a specific creative goal or goals. In my case, it was developing the musical theater history and performance class that I just wrapped up last weekend, as well as ruminating on the development of the Great American Songbook course and concert that we will be presenting on World Voice Day. (More to come about that very soon!)
During the course, one of the coaches, Scott Perry said that “the flip side of overwhelm was opportunity.” That resonated with me, but I didn’t quite know what it meant. I wrote it down, intending to look it up later. I did this morning, and found this article by business coach Roberta Ryan. There were several quotes in here that spoke to me. They were:
- What if being overwhelmed is not something one gets over, but something to celebrate?
- What if inner peace is not a destination, but trusting that you can handle whatever comes your way?
- With forethought and diligence, …. it is possible to thrive inside the delightful frenzy of ideas, celebrate feeling overwhelmed, and, most importantly, trust the process.
All of which comes out of the idea of stretching your comfort zone and “that mix of feeling curious, anxious, and excited.” [bold mine]
Being overwhelmed and having too much to do – but knowing that you can do it – is building trust in yourself. In the case of Roberta Ryan, it’s in running her business. For us, it’s the same – our business is that of being an artist.
The important thing is to face that overwhelm with “forethought and diligence.” Know what you have to do and plan for it, so that the overwhelm isn’t rushing from one thing to another, but is done with anticipation of all that is ahead, and all that you will be learning from the experience and taking to create new experiences.
Even in overwhelm, you need to find balance. And also determine what is serving you as a person and as an artist. Are you doing something that no longer fulfills you as an artist? Is it a temporary feeling or has it been going on awhile? Can you do without it (assuming it’s not part of your curriculum, if you’re a student)? Or, if it’s a major part of your income, can you pivot and find another source of income?
For many of us who have been without performing this past nearly 9 months, we’ve become very good at pivoting. I suspect I’ll be addressing that subject somewhere down the road….
Curious about developing your voice? A little anxious about the process? Excited to be trying something new? Sounds like just the kind of student I’d like to work with. Contact me to talk about lessons and set up a Vocal Discovery Session.